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Staying in Long Melford without a car - ?

TX
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Staying in Long Melford without a car - ?

My mother and I are considering Suffolk for our "mother/daughter adventure 2013". We have just returned from Cornwall and Devon and last year spent a little over a week in the Cotswolds. We seek that old English charm, and thoroughly enjoy renting cottages in smaller villages, so are considering Long Melford. (Particularly as we have our eye on an adorable cottage there!) While we have had a car on our previous trips, I'm not all that keen on driving anymore and wonder if staying in Long Melford without a car is advisable? We are happy to figure out bus and train schedules, as well as utilize taxis (provided the distance is not too great) - but just wonder about the feasibility of planning a stay in Long Melford without a car. We don't have a need to visit many outlying tourist attractions, as what we enjoy most is immersing ourselves in village life in the local shops, pubs, etc. Thoughts?

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Essex
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11. Re: Staying in Long Melford without a car - ?

Long Melford is great, but a 'small village' it is not. It has one of the longest Hight Streets in England, hence it's name!!

The village does have it's own website, that is brimming with useful information if you do decide to stay there:

http://www.longmelford.co.uk/

However, for a smaller more 'cosy' village feel, you could consider Clare (actually a small 'wool town' but is currently "Suffolk Village of the Year"), or maybe the beautiful Cavendish.

http://www.clare-uk.com/

http://www.cavendish-village.co.uk/

United Kingdom
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12. Re: Staying in Long Melford without a car - ?

I would agree with everything post 9 has said, they’re also giving an overseas visitors opinion of the area so that is good. And as post 8 says Suffolk is overlooked as a tourist destination.

US soldiers were billeted in the area during WW2, so you may see memorabilia in and around Lavenham.

In a radius from Lavenham also consider visiting the towns of Sudbury, Bury St Edmunds and Hadleigh and although a bit further I think Woodbridge (has a station with café) is an excellent example of a not too big or too small Suffolk town., has a bit of everything, a tidal mill, timber frame houses, small shops, old market square, old town hall, church and museum.

Yaxley, Suffolk
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13. Re: Staying in Long Melford without a car - ?

Bajablonde, how did you plan on reaching your accomodation in Long Melford in the first place? Were you planning on using the train, bus and taxis to get there? If so then I would seriously recommend hiring a car otherwise you might find that your transfer from the airport might take longer than what you think. Also as others have already mentioned, you will get so much more from your trip by having a car.

Secondly, if possible, I would rent a cottage in Lavenham rather than Long Melford. Nothing wrong with Melford but Lavenham will be closer to what you are after.

Thirdly, the statement of " Suffolk is overlooked as a tourist destination." is very true. And long may it remain so. The main attraction of Suffolk to me is that it doesn't get the tourist hordes that you find elsewhere and thus remains very unspoilt.

TX
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14. Re: Staying in Long Melford without a car - ?

Well, I had thought we'd probably take the train to Sudbury from London, then a taxi from Sudbury to Long Melford. Although my research does indicate that a relatively short distance does take about 2.5 hours by train (figuring in time spent waiting on trains), and that doesn't thrill me. I am thinking a bit more confidently about renting a car, especially since it's been stated that driving in Suffolk is less difficult than in other areas of the country. I'll keep giving it some more thought. If we have a car, I think we'll be happier staying in Long Melford and just making day trips to Lavenham and other nearby villages. We can't seem to find anything in Lavenham accommodation-wise that makes our heart sing the way the cottages in Long Melford and Stoke-by-Nayland do.

I'm greatly encouraged to know that Suffolk is not highly trafficked by tourists. Even though, of course, we ARE tourists ourselves, not simply being "one of many" makes it feel as though we receive more of a warm welcome from locals in the not-so-touristy areas.

Thanks so much for your thoughts!

Yaxley, Suffolk
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15. Re: Staying in Long Melford without a car - ?

Ok, one thing to consider if renting a car is that I assume you will be renting it from somewhere in London itself or from the airport. If renting from the airport then it will be a relatively easy but busy drive round the M 25 Motorway till you get to the junction for the A12 road that will take you up to Colchester and then across to Long Melford.

However if you rent the car from central London then bear in mind you will have to drive it through London for about 15 miles till you get to the section of the A12 past the M25 motorway where it becomes less busier. If your not too happy about driving in the first place then you may want to avoid doing this as London can be a nightmare for driving especially to people not used to it

An alernative would be to catch the train to Colchester or Ipswich and then rent a car from the train station in either town (I'm sure this is possible). You will be much closer to Long Melford to drive to and will avoid all the Motorway traffic around London

TX
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16. Re: Staying in Long Melford without a car - ?

Thanks very much! I would never rent a car from a central London location and try to drive through the city. Have rented at Heathrow before, and it's fairly straightforward, but I will look into your suggestion about taking a train and renting a car from a station closer to our final destination. That's what we did in Cornwall - took the train from Paddington to Penzance and rented a car there. Saved lots of driving headache!

Yaxley, Suffolk
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17. Re: Staying in Long Melford without a car - ?

Bajablonde, see link below. Avis car hire is literally a 5 minute walk from Ipswich train station. London to Ipswich is about 1 hour 10 minutes on a train. Ipswich to Long melford is about 1 hour by car, traffic permitting

TX
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18. Re: Staying in Long Melford without a car - ?

Thank you! So would it be a fairly easy drive from Ipswich to LM? (Mostly motorway?)

NE Victoria...
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19. Re: Staying in Long Melford without a car - ?

Not motorway, but main A roads which are easy to drive on. You can get a rough idea from this map.

http://g.co/maps/nkdtr

TX
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20. Re: Staying in Long Melford without a car - ?

Thanks again for all of the helpful replies here. The cottages we were interested in have now posted 2013 prices, and they're a bit more than we prefer to pay - SO, are now also looking at the Yorkshire Dales instead of Suffolk. I hate to sound wishy-washy as to choice of destinations, but I know we have plenty of time to decide on where we want to go in 2013.

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